Hello everyone! It's time to update your app and meet your new icons. As we like to say around here, drrrruuuuuuumroll please!

Meet Bryan Hall, Logan Houston, and Julian Lewis, the fearless creators of The Address club and our latest Clubhouse icons! Each week they host their room aptly titled, “Let’s Address Men’s Mental Health,” garnering over 1,300 listeners a room. They join us to talk about the value of taking care of your mental health and what motivated them to make it their mission to help others open up.

Super Bowl champ and former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Bryan Hall currently lives in Baltimore, where his “Life Prep Academy” mentors college athletes on how to showcase their talent as well as offering life skills. Singer/Songwriter/Author Logan Houston is based in Houston, and in addition to work on music projects with multiple artists, he is an advocate for mental health and is a personal development coach. And San Diego-based Julian Lewis is a recognized corporate trainer, mindset coach, and thought leader, whose company Zella Life is a coaching platform that supports career, personal and emotional wellness for professionals of color. The business was recently awarded a grant from Google.

First of all, the three of you are spread out across the nation, talk us through how you met and what drew you to each other?

BH: Me and Julian had met by coming across each other in various rooms. Julian and I had mutual respect for how we both spoke on certain topics brought up on Clubhouse. I had only met Logan when I had opened a room back in November about Men’s Mental Health. I had a frat brother commit suicide and it sent me down a rabbit hole. I started searching online and came across something called “Movember” which was raising awareness about men’s health including suicide. I started looking at the global stats and found it quite disturbing. 80% of people who die by suicide are men, 70% of people experiencing homelessness are men, 70% of children enrolled in special education are boys, 40% of men will contract cancer, and 50% will die from that same cancer. In the middle of a COVID pandemic, I felt this was an even BIGGER pandemic no one was talking about. Playing in the NFL, I loved that the organization raised so much awareness around Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. But I found it strange that the very next month was “Movember,” yet I didn’t know much about this event, the foundation, or the actual meaning behind “No Shave November.” I hopped on Clubhouse and started a room basically wanting to know how many other men knew about “Movember.” It was a very small room but I didn’t care {as we were} raising awareness. I asked about 50 men that day if they had ever heard of “Movember” and only 3 men said they had. One of those men that came in that day was Logan. Logan was pinged into the room by a mutual friend of ours. We had a great conversation that day and I thought it would be over. I followed Logan that day and the next week he started a room called “Let’s Talk Men’s Mental Health.” Logan carried our conversation and from that point on I had told him if he wanted to keep the conversation going, I would be here to support. Julian came as well, looking to have a greater impact on anyone who wanted to listen about men’s mental health. From that point on we had opportunities to speak for hours and learn how to support not only the men in the room but each other. We were aligned in our mission to raise awareness on Men’s mental health and it grew from there.

LH: Simply put, we met through the genius of Clubhouse. Being in different places physically was no barrier at all when we were in such similar places personally. My struggles and search for help led me into spaces I’d never considered before. I’m thankful to have met two new brothers on my journey!

JL: We met on Clubhouse. I met Bryan in a few rooms that we would find ourselves in and we seemed to be on the same page. I liked a lot of what he had to say. I met Logan the same way.  Hearing each other speak on the app about several topics throughout 2021 is what brought us together.

Can you share what inspired you to start your own journey taking care of your own mental health? Was it something you were always cognizant of? If not, at what age did you really begin thinking about it?

BH: Mental health was, for me, personally something I had very limited knowledge about. As an athlete, we are taught that our body is our job so we always put our physical health as priority. The mental toughness was just about how much adversity you could handle and overcome. That was all I knew. I didn’t start taking it seriously until I was 29.

LH: Well for me the mental health journey started only about 18 months ago. It was definitely NOT something I was always cognizant of. Like most men, I thought having success and popularity was all I needed but after destroying some very valuable relationships, I experienced a terrible bout with depression and anxiety. I was sort of forced to ADDRESS my mental health. That’s how the name of the club was born. I tried every other fix that men typically use to avoid staring at themselves and addressing the deepest darkest parts but unfortunately it was a rock bottom moment for me that saved my life.

JL: The birth of my daughter created a white hot burning desire to want to be the best man I could become.  That led me in the direction of taking care of my own mental health.  I was aware that there were parts of me that needed healing but I could not figure it out on my own.  Having my daughter pushed me over the edge to have the courage to seek counsel from professionals to support this journey.

Over the past handful of years, mental health has started to become less stigmatized and discussed more openly. That said, there’s still a long way to go. What are some of the most common misconceptions you hear about mental health?

BH: There are three misconceptions about mental health that come to mind: Number One is the negative stigma surrounding mental health. When people hear “mental health,”  they automatically start thinking negatively, as if it’s about mental PROBLEMS and not mental health. Maintaining a healthy mental state allows you to operate at a high level while feeling good about who you are. Number Two: The idea that “no one understands.” In our room, we have many men from different areas of the world speaking about issues they go through that seem to be very similar to other men in the room. I always say “We all have different struggles but we all struggle the same.” Number Three: is the positive connotation of the word “support.” People can support you positively or negatively, and it’s up to you to be aware of what that means.

LH: There are so many stigmas and I’m so happy that the mental health discussion has taken a huge leap forward in our society. With that being said, men still are very much suffering from the same pressures, perceptions and stigmas that create the alarming statistics we see today. One key myth is that mental health issues are a sign of weakness or lack of willpower. This is the one misconception that must be addressed most aggressively. Men are very allergic to words like “weak” or anything akin to it. By attaching a word like “weakness” to mental health, we immediately make the conversation radioactive for those who need it most. We are here every Tuesday having this discussion as a clear demonstration of the strength and will it involves and I’m very proud of that.

JL: One of the most common misconceptions is that people should only speak to professionals.  Being able to be supported by great men like Bryan and Logan have helped me to get clarity in so many areas within my life outside of therapy and coaching. Another misconception is that mental health is something you take a look at when “something is wrong.”  Being healthy mentally is a lot like being healthy physically. It takes consistent effort and calls for each of us to not just be reactive but to be proactive in our approach as well.

Why do you think it’s typically harder for men to open up about their mental health?

BH: The reason a lot of men “suffer in silence” is quite honestly we aren’t supported to speak. We are groomed to listen in communication but not supported in talking about our issues. We also aren’t aware of the things that play major parts with our mental health. It’s hard to speak on problems when we don’t realize they exist. Also providing and protecting safe spaces to these men are rare. Lots of times men’s vulnerability is weaponized against them. What it means to be a man a lot of the time is protecting and providing while being “tough” and not speaking on your own problems.

LH: I think it’s harder for men to open up about their mental health because they simply don’t believe there’s anything in it for them. Men are socialized to believe that our value rests solely in how capable we are and our tangible production. Under those pretenses there would be no reward or benefit to admitting you’re not ok. We are here to say that men couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s nothing but tremendous benefit from opening up and communicating how and what you’re feeling honestly. You learn so much about yourself and you give yourself permission to be the greatest version of a man.

JL: We talk about this often in the room. A lot of it has to do with how men are socially conditioned. We are taught untrue scripts like “boys don’t cry” or that a man’s worth is solely in being a “protector” and ”provider.”  Men are conditioned to close up and close off and we are not conditioned to look for support. This can be very dangerous.

If someone is struggling with the thought of opening up about their struggles with mental health, what advice would you give?

BH: We would first let them know we understand, as at one point we felt the same. Next we would simply ask “On a scale from one to ten, ten being the best, how are you feeling today?” After getting that number, ask them why they chose that number. Lastly, if they aren’t a ten, what would it take to get to a ten? Understand how realistic the cost is to reach a 10. We can always recommend therapy for people but sometimes all we need is a chance to talk and be heard without worrying about judgment.

LH: The best advice I can give is don’t give up! Seek out others who are having the conversation already because I guarantee you that you will find strength in their testimony. Maybe you don’t have the words right now, that’s ok. Maybe you don’t have the perfect timing, that’s ok. Maybe you think your hurt is too shameful, that’s ok. DON’T GIVE UP!

JL: The advice I would give them is to understand they are not alone. Every single person that looks like they have their “stuff together” does not, in fact, have it all figured out. Every person is going through different challenges that they feel only pertain to them. The truth is, we are all going through things and a lot of them are similar to one another. You owe it to yourself to seek the help of a professional that can guide you through finding clarity on your own mental health and support you on your journey.